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On Saturday, Ken Cuccinelli faced off against Terry McAuliffe in the first gubernatorial debate of 2013. Everything was on the table, including women’s health. 

Considering Cuccinelli’s long history of trying to restrict and limit women’s access to safe and legal abortion, it was hardly a surprise when the moderator asked him if he’d continue in the same vein and use the governor’s office to push his extreme ideological views.  Rather than stand by his record, Cuccinelli dodged and ducked in his attempt to avoid answering.

Instead he saidhe doesn’t "expect to use the political capital of the governor's office to be moving those [anti-women’s health] pieces of legislation.” But just because he doesn’t expect to do it, doesn’t mean he won’t. During his campaign for attorney general, Cuccinelli did much the same thing.  He avoided social issues, emphasized his experience as an attorney, and touted his belief in limited government, but the moment he was elected, things changed. 

Within weeks of being elected,Cuccinelli said social issues, including abortion, were “an important part” of his “political foundation.” And that, while his job is to protect the law, he has a “bully pulpit I haven't had before, so I'll try to wield influence that way.’” 

Cuccinelli did more than just wield influence. As attorney general, he bullied the Virginia Board of Health to pass onerous TRAP restrictions designed to eliminate access to safe and legal abortion in the state.  When the Board of Health voted to exempt existing health centers from these extreme restrictions, Cuccinelli not only said he would refuse to sign the regulations, but according to a memo, he told members that the state would not represent them if they were sued in response to their decision — leaving them without legal defense.  And that’s just the tip of the iceberg — when you take a look at this longer record on women’s health you’ll see he’s co-sponsored extreme and dangerous “personhood” legislation, attempted to defund Planned Parenthood health centers in the state, and told opponents of no co-pay birth control they should be willing to “go to jail” to fight the law.

You know the old saying: fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice, shame on me.  No matter how Cuccinelli tries to avoid talking about his extreme record on women’s health, history shows that at the end of the day he can’t be trusted.  Ken Cuccinelli is far outside the mainstream when it comes to women’s health — and Virginians can’t risk having him in the governor’s office.

Communications regarding the VA Governor’s race on this site are paid for by Planned Parenthood Votes, and authorized by Terry McAuliffe, candidate for Governor.

Tags: Abortion, Ken Cuccinelli, Virginia, Personhood

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